Monday, January 21, 2013

Pebbles in water


The voice screeched in my ears but I didn’t know who the receiver was. My neck seemed frozen not moving its direction upwards towards the source. His nerves pulsated at every scream and I dared not open my mouth. Who invented these cursed objects? - Wax crayons. It looked tempting in all colours, smooth to hold and easy to make 30 cm radius of circles. The designer in me had chosen a wrong spot. It had chosen the freshly painted walls of my house. My trails of rainbow circles had started from the door knob of the hall to the end of balcony railings. Like Michelangelo, I had not left any space within my hand reach and spread my artistic skills all over the house .The red colour seemed to have spread to my father’s face while he glowered in anger at his six year old daughter.

I held on to my uniform skirt as if the length was not enough. My body sent shivers from top to bottom, ironically, in Chennai summer. It was our ‘Rashtrabasha’ effect and I never knew why it didn’t seep in my blood even after all the coaching classes. Our Hindi teacher, Victoria ji (name that I can never forget) handed over the papers with sharp cut comments which, fortunately, were never understood. The numbers glared at me. It was ‘8’ in tens place and ‘3’ in units place. Like things that were so easy to do during the adolescence, tears began to flow. The marks never hurt but mother sure would when I go back home in the evening.

They say college crushes make most of the best memories. Alas, I have no memory of doing anything about it. He sprinted on the staircase smiling at his friends  My close friend and I giggled, took a quick look and acted like we were studying. He adjusted his shirt cuff and hit a high five with his friend.Everything about him seemed cute. He was oblivious to the stares we gave and was not even aware of our existence. I often wondered how the college admin do the permutation and combination so perfectly that after I noticed he was in my bus, they started the scheme of shuffling buses every day. I don’t remember making an attempt to talk to him or even approach for anything. Marks came, lab exercise came, even the placements came in the third year but his department classroom never came close to our classroom.Yes, that was the excuse.

I didn’t know what I was staring at; the monitor or the CAT score that I had calculated from the key given by our institute. All the hormones seemed to rush to the heart and it felt very heavy. Honestly, I don’t remember doing any other section other than quant for my exam preparation. I didn't learn to solve problems but fought with it. I screwed the same section in every exam I wrote for MBA. It was apparently my third attempt in CAT and must have been 30th attempt in all MBA exams put together. There was a voice that sang in my head that I can't do it. The biggest mistake was that I always heeded to the voice. I have no answer to the question ‘why was I so mentally retarded?’. I cursed. This time I didn’t cry but it hurt. Really hard.

When I recollect all of these, it makes me smile today. It didn’t then. Quite obvious, but these are the memories that I can run in my head so fresh and never understand the intensity of emotion I was facing then.

What were the fears in my life? If I can draw a straight answer; it was my weaknesses. The fear was not because I didn’t know how to do a thing but those declarations in my head that I simply cant do it.

I had calculated my victories in the wrong measurement tools. It was what others wanted out of me or what others sought from me. I never sat down to learn to love something. Yes, we may not love something but we can always learn to love it. I have come to terms with my life that I can pass away time doing everything I love. Sometimes, we need to do things that are necessary.

I never experimented with things because my confidence never let me take that extra step. Lot of preconceived notions just stopped me there. It was just me along, not anyone else.

I succumbed to the weakness and never understood the worth of aggressiveness. The force to thrust forward, the faith to make things happen, insights to dream big; all lapsed into the black hole of fear.

Life always gave opportunities in abundance but I wrapped myself in inhibitions. I didn’t dare move out of my comfort zone. I didn’t dare try anything different. I didn’t try hard enough for anything I loved.

I had discarded the best things in my life because I felt I was not worth it. How did I even decide that in the first place? Was it because I was made to believe that way or was it that I accepted defeat so easily that it never occurred to me that I had not tried at all?

Today, give me that one crayon out of the box. I will make the 30 cm radius circles on the walls again. I want to be the same six year old child who did what she could best with that one crayon.